Last year, Sony had a summer game program going for Playstation Network similar to Xbox Live's Summer of Arcade called PSN Play. Four games are featured in the month-long lineup with Playstation Plus discounts and pre-order bonuses. Among the featured games last year on PSN Play were Konami's Bloodrayne Betrayal and Capcom's Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition. After last year's success, Sony decided to bring it back this year with new games to be released between July 24 with August 27. The Expendables 2 Videogame, Sound Shapes (thumbnail pic), Papo & Yo, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive are the four featured games on the lineup. Also taking a familiar approach to Xbox's Summer of Arcade, PS3 owners can save some money by buying the games in bulk. Buying two of the four saves you $3, three saves $6, and buying all of them saves you $10. Players can also receive a free theme for their PS3 for pre-ordering the games that they want before their release. All of these games will cost $15 each, but Playstation Plus owners can buy them for $3 cheaper.
Ubisoft's The Expendables 2 Videogame starts off this year's PSN Play Lineup on July 31. Based on the upcoming summer blockbuster of the same name, the game is a four-player cooperative shooter featuring Barney, Gunner, Ceasar and Yin Yang as the playable characters. Story and challenge modes are present along with vehicular combat sections. Since this is featured on PSN Play, Ubisoft has not said anything concerning a XBLA release.
One of the Playstation Vita's promising games since its original announcement was Sound Shapes, and it will now also be released for PSN on August 7. Sony is nice enough to clarify that buying this game is both for PSN and the Vita, so there is no need to double dip. Sound Shapes is a "Play, Compose, Share," platformer as your actions dictate the music. Among the artists to be featured are I am Robot and Proud and Deadmau5.
Papo & Yo is a PSN indie exclusive set to be released on August 14. The game will have players trying to prevent a friendly monster from eating poisonous frogs using a number of puzzle elements. Concluding the lineup on August 21 is Valve's highly anticipated Counter Strike: Global Offensive. This iteration of the popular FPS franchise that started as a Half-Life mod has been on beta for PC for quite a while, but it is finally coming to consoles next month. Playstation Move support is also planned for the PSN release, but no word whether or not Steam integration is in the works like Portal 2 was for PS3.
This year's PSN Play lineup has a bit of everything for everyone from recognizable franchises to new and unique experiences as it starts on July 24 for Playstation 3. I'm personally excited for Sound Shapes and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, but The Expendables 2 Videogame could be a surprisingly good movie tie-in game and Papo & Yo has the potential to be the sleeper hit of the bunch. That's not just all for the Playstation Network this summer with next week's Dyad, today's release of Rainbow Moon for RPG fans, The Unfinished Swan, and other surprising releases that have yet to be confirmed.